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Big Match Breakdown: Brazil v Belgium

Nick Murphy | 6 July 2018

Odds, tips and preview for QF tie

Two of the World Cup’s big guns face-off this evening for a place in the semi-finals as Brazil clash with Belgium in Kazan.

The Samba Boys cruised past Mexico in the round-of-16, thanks in no small part to the histrionics of Paris Saint-Germain star Neymar.

Opponents Belgium produced the comeback of the tournament against Japan to prevail 3-2 after being 2-0 down in the contest.

It’s all set up to be a close-fought tie between two of the tournament favourites. And it’s one the Coral News Team has previewed with a Big Match Breakdown.

Head-to-Head

Tonight’s clash will be the fifth time the two nations have met and their first encounter since the 2002 World Cup in South Korea and Japan.

The Samba Boys triumphed 2-0 on that occasion, with goals from Rivaldo and Ronaldo booking their place in the quarter-finals.

Belgium have not beaten the South Americans since a Jacques Stockman hat-trick gave the Red Devils a seismic 5-1 victory way back in 1963.

Likely XIs

Tite will have to do without Casemiro after the midfielder picked up his second booking of the tournament against Mexico. Fernandinho will come in for him. Marcelo could also replace Felipe Luis at full-back, while Liverpool’s Roberto Firmino is pushing for his first start in place of Gabriel Jesus.

Roberto Martinez has no new injury or suspension worries but could include Marouane Fellaini after the midfielder impressed off the bench against Japan. He may replace Dries Mertens, freeing up Kevin De Bruyne to play further forward.

Brazil vs Belgium - Football tactics and formations

Key Battles

Brazil’s defence will face its first significant test against the pace of Eden Hazard and the power of Romelu Lukaku. The pair will cause problems providing the midfield ups its game after Monday’s lacklustre showing.

The Red Devils will have to be at their best defensively to deal with the speed and trickery of their opponents’ forward line. Philippe Coutinho and Neymar, in particular, will try and give veteran Vincent Kompany the run around. Don’t be surprised if we see a penalty awarded in Kazan.

The midfield should have a nice Manchester flavour with Fernandinho and Fellaini set to renew rivalries in the middle of the park.

Match Odds

Brazil are favourites for the match at 11/10. You can back Belgium at 5/2 inside 90 minutes, with the draw at 23/10. Tite’s men are odds-on to qualify for the semi-final via any means at 1/2.

With plenty of attacking quality on show, the Coral News Team is expecting goals. Both Teams to Score is 3/4 and Over 2.5 Goals 19/20.

Neymar is the favourite to break the deadlock at 7/2 to Score First. He’s 13/10 to net Anytime. Lukaku is the 9/5 favourite to Score Anytime for Belgium, with Hazard slightly longer at 11/5.

Against the Samba Boys’ stern defence, Martinez and co. could seek to make use of their aerial prowess. Fellaini impressed against Japan. He’s 4/1 Anytime and 11/1 to Score Last.

If you think the match will go all the way, it’s 8/1 about either side winning through on penalties.

World Cup previews, betting tips and insight – Coral have it all.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing